FRIENDLY: ILKESTON 2 MANSFIELD 4 (abandoned)
3 August 2011
Ilkeston FC 2 Mansfield Town 4
(Abandoned 72 mins, after injury to John Thompson)
Dimidh 7, Ricketts 42. Hill OG 4, Green 15, Briscoe 25, pen 44.
Paul Cox led his Stags team off the pitch after John Thompson was injured by Ilkeston player Gary Ricketts after 72 minutes. Thompson was the third Stags player to be injured by Ricketts and all three ended up in hospital. First Richie Sutton suffered a dislocated shoulder. Then Martin Riley was elbowed in the face and needed five stitches in a head wound above his eye. Finally John Thompson was pushed into metal hoardings by Ricketts and his nose was broken from one end to the other. Thompson may also have dislocated a finger.
Post match audio interview with assistant manager Micky Moore --->
After the game, Martin Riley tweeted from hospital:
"Another season...another game....another 5 stitches in my head!! The beautiful game keeps messing with my beautiful boat race.
Sitting in A&E now, the same player has put three of our boys in hospital in the same game! Gaffers just walked the team off the pitch!
Third lads just come into A&E! Absolute disgrace! Face is a mess. One player hospitalized me and 2 other boys in one game! ******* pub player.
Wasn't too bothered about myself, always gonna take knocks to the head in football, but after seeing Thomo that **** needs to be dealt with.
Im fine, 5/6 stitches and I'll be fine for the 1st game but Sutts and Thomo are gonna be out for sure.
Sutts 2 ripped tendons in his shoulder, Tommo broken nose and god knows how many stitches.
Stitches done, Getting an x-ray now, possible broken jaw.
Back from the hospital, been a long night so gonna hit the hay, back there in the morning."
Moore: Why Stags walked off at Ilkeston
Nottingham Post, MattHalfpenny
MANSFIELD Town's players were instructed to leave the field – causing the abandonment of their game at Ilkeston FC – because the management feared for their safety, according to assistant boss Micky Moore.
The Stags were leading 4-2 at the New Manor Ground with 68 minutes gone after Louis Briscoe (2) and Matt Green had netted, to go with an own goal by Josh Hill.
It was then that striker Gary Ricketts barged defender John Thompson into one of the dug-outs, leaving the Irishman with blood pouring from his nose.
The Stags had already lost Ritchie Sutton (suspected dislocated shoulder) and Martin Riley (expected to require stitches in a facial injury), which Moore said were the result of other Ricketts challenges.
Thompson's injury was the final straw for boss Paul Cox, particularly as the referee appeared content to let Ricketts be substituted, rather than sending him off.
It was then that the Mansfield team were led from the field by their angry manager – to applause from the visiting fans who had travelled to see them in action.
"The reason we left the pitch was a combination of things. We know in football that you pick up injuries and accept that, but we had three players severely injured by the same player in a friendly," said Moore.
"Two of them had blood pouring from their faces and they have gone to hospital. We decided enough is enough.
"We had to think about the other players. We couldn't afford for any more to get injured.
"These were not little incidents and the referee didn't seem to be taking control of the situation.
"99 per cent of the time you don't want to see people being sent off in a friendly, but at some stage common sense has to prevail.
"It's not the way we wanted it. We wanted to come to Ilkeston and respect them, rather than bringing a youth team. We also wanted to put out a strong side for the supporters who came here to watch us.
"But hindsight is a wonderful thing and we will have to wait to see how badly injured the three lads are."
Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson said he would take firm action if he found Ricketts was clearly culpable.
He said: "This will be dealt with in the right way, but whether that becomes public I don't know.
I need to digest it over the next 24 hours, see the incidents again on tape and then judge them. But you don't like to see things like that at a game.
"I just hope all the Mansfield lads are OK, especially the lad Thompson."
Ilkeston 2-4 Stags (match abandoned)
mansfieldtown.net, Wed 03 Aug 2011
Stags comfortably led at the New Manor Ground until Paul Cox's decision to withdraw his squad on safety grounds after 73 minutes.
In what was our penultimate pre-season friendly, braces for both Matt Green and Louis Briscoe put the visitors in a comfortable position before an incident involving Ilkeston's Gary Ricketts pursuaded Paul Cox to abandon the game and take no further part in proceedings.
With the three division gap between the sides being made to show from early on, a nasty head wound to John Thompson was the final act of an otherwise decent showing from Stags ahead of our final pre-season friendly away at Chasetown this weekend.
In team news, Paul Cox opted to make four changes to the side which beat Boston 4-1 away last weekend. Lining up 4-4-2, Shane Redmond provided Alan Marriott with a break in between the sticks taking his place behind a back four of Ritchie Sutton, John Thompson, Martin Riley and Lee Kendrick.
Lee Stevenson kept his place in the centre having come on as a substitute at Boston lining up alongside Adam Murray and Louis Briscoe who graced the right flank whilst trialist Nick Hegarty appeared on the left to provide ammunition for the front pairing of Paul Connor and Matt Green.
The visitors made light work of their Evo-Stik Division One South opponents early on by racing into the lead with only four minutes on the clock. Lee Stevenson found ex-Grimsby and St Mirren midfielder Nick Hegarty on the left wing in a swift counter attacking move with the resulting cross being nodded past Ilkeston 'keeper Aaron Butcher by Matt Green from close distance.
An uncharacteristic mistake by Stags' skipper Adam Murray then gifted the hosts with an equaliser just three minutes later as he swung wildly at a clearance from a Kendrick corner and missed the ball completely allowing two Ilkeston forwards a free run at Redmond who had no chance against such numerical superiority.
The lead was restored by Matt Green bagging his second strike of the game on the quarter hour mark after tapping in Lee Stevenson's intelligent through ball.
Next it was Louis Briscoe's turn to the test the 'keeper - first with a swerving effort on 18 which Butcher did well to keep hold of prior to a successful effort from just inside the box seven minutes later. Kendrick's left wing cross was aimed at Connor who failed to connect but it fell to Briscoe to smash in a right foot effort into the top corner.
Paul Cox was forced to make a substitution just before the half hour mark with Ritchie Sutton being withdrawn following a heavy challenge making way for Luke O'Neill. It wasn't long before Stags regained their momentum, however, with Riley shooting narrowly over on 30 before Stevenson hit the bar with his powerful header.
In the hectic closing stages of the first half, the home side hauled themselves back into the game somewhat against the run of play on 42 as a defensive lapse allowed striker Gary Ricketts to head home Kevin Wilson's left wing cross. The two goal cushion was restored shortly afterwards with Louis Briscoe converting his third spotkick in as many games.
The infringement occurred following a Matt Green rising shot which ricocheted back off the bar but struck a hand on the way through. There was no dispute over the taker as designated specialist Briscoe smashed a right foot shot straight down the centre of the goal and into the top of the goal to put Stags four goals to the good going into the break.
Paul Cox waited for five minutes following the restart before making any further changes throwing on trialist Nick Wood at centre half in place of Martin Riley. Two more like-for-like substitutions followed in the 60th minute with Ross Dyer and Anthony Howell being introduced for Paul Connor and Matt Green.
Two minutes later the captain's armband changed hands as Adam Murray made way for Jon Worthington who was quickly involved in the build up play providing a guilt edged chance for Ross Dyer to get his name on the scoresheet. Worthington's punt deep into the area was pulled back across the face of goal by Kendrick to the feet of Dyer at the far post who could only find the side netting when under pressure from a red shirt.
Feeling in experimental mood, Paul Cox made his fifth and sixth substitutions with play barely restarted withdrawing Hegarty and Briscoe from the flanks to give both Adam Smith and Andy Todd some minutes on the pitch.
Controversy followed as the game entered into its final quarter as John Thompson was dealt a body blow by Gary Ricketts. Occuring right in front of the dugouts, Thompson appeared to have been pushed into the advertising hoardings following a 50/50 challenge with Rickets and a five minute stoppage in play was required for the central defender to receive medical treatment to a bloody headwound. He was unable to continue and walked from the pitch holding a towel to his head as he was swiftly taken to hospital.
The offending player was promptly substituted rather than suffer the unusual punishment of being sent off in a friendly game but it was in vain as Paul Cox decided to withdraw his players from the pitch for their safety and for an early bath, thus abandoning the match in the 73rd minute.
Line up: Redmond, Sutton (O'Neill 28), Thompson, Riley (Wood 50), Kendrick, Hegarty (Todd 64), Murray (Worthington 62), Stevenson, Briscoe (Smith 64), Connor (Dyer 60), Green (Howell 60)
Stags walk off after three players hospitalised in friendly at Ilkeston
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
FRIENDLY: ILKESTON FC 2 MANSFIELD TOWN 4 (match abandoned on 68 minutes)
FURIOUS Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox led his side off the field after just 68 minutes of their bruising 'friendly' at Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South neighbours Ilkeston FC after home player-coach Gary Ricketts put three Stags defenders in hospital, reports John Lomas.
The abrasive veteran front man had already put in challenges which left Richie Sutton with a suspected dislocated collarbone and Martin Riley requiring stitches in a facial wound.
But the final straw came when he inexplicably slammed John Thompson two-handed into the plastic and metal of the fencing surrounding the pitch which he hit head first which left the Irishman badly bleeding with a nasty cut across his nose and concussed.
The Irishman was down for a long time as the referee tried to other prevent players squaring up to each other.
Ricketts could have no excuse for his actions against Thompson and further brought himself into disgrace as he argued with furious Stags fans as he changed his shirt and walked to the dressing room, though no card was shown.
As the ugly scenes continued, Cox went onto the pitch to remonstrate with referee Jim Thornhill before doing the sensible thing and taking his players off and having the match abandoned.
Ricketts eventually needed to be escorted from the ground as an ambulance took Thompson away to join his team mates at hospital.
Mansfield assistant manager Micky Moore said: “The referee probably wasn't strong enough. He didn't seem to be taking control of the situation.
“He told us he was going to let Ilkeston substitute Ricketts. Now you don't want to see players sent-off in a friendly but sometimes common sense has to prevail.
“We had three major incidents all involving the same player and three players ended up in hospital.
“We had to think about the welfare and the mindset of the players left out there and we couldn't afford any more injuries.
“We wanted to come here and show Ilkeston some respect by the team we played and didn't want to come here and just play trialists and youth team players.
“Supporters have come and paid their money to watch. But hindsight is a wonderful thing.
“Our supporters were absolutely fantastic and I hope they understand why we did what we did.
“Obviously we hope Ilkeston will do something regarding the player. I am not going to tell another manager what to do but I am sure Kevin (Wilson) will use common sense.”
The injuries will be the biggest concern to boss Paul Cox, but, despite goals from Matt Green, Louis Briscoe (2) and an own goal by Josh Hill, he will have been unhappy about the two conceded in a thrilling six-goal first half.
Stags had gone 4-4-2 with Sutton and Kendrick as full backs, Stevenson partnering Murray again in central midfield with trialist Nick Hegarty wide on the left.
The former Forest and Sheffield Wednesday youngster, whose clubs include Grimsby, York and St Mirren, has been training with Stags this week after a spell on trial at Bradford City.
Connor found himself through on goal within the first 10 seconds only for an offside flag to halt his hopes of a sensational start.
On three minutes Kendrick's corner was played back wide to him by Thompson and his second attempt at crossing was headed just wide by Connor.
But Mansfield were rewarded for their bright start on three minutes as Hegarty's cross was met by Green who saw Butler pull off a fine save from his header only for Hill to turn the loose ball into his own net from close range.
But, as Stags pressed from another corner on eight minutes, they lost the ball due to a Murray mis-kick and were caught by a swift counter which left Ilkeston two against one from the halfway line, Thomas timing his final pass to precision and sending Dimidh clear into space for an equally fine finish.
Mansfield could then have gone behind but Ricketts headed just over from a right wing cross.
Kendrick then forced Butler to save a 25 yard free kick before the visitors went back ahead on 15 minutes.
This time Stevenson got to the left bye-line and pulled the ball back in front of goal for Green to turn home.
Briscoe tried a wicked, swerving shot from 25 yards, but Butler kept his eye on it and was always fully behind it.
Thomas made a powerful run into the Mansfield box on the left and his low finish was kept out by Redmond's left hand as he dived to his left.
Having come to close to a second equaliser, the plucky Robins found themselves 3-1 down on 25 minutes.
No one was able to cut out Kendrick's left wing cross and the ball bounced invitingly in front of Briscoe who arrowed an unstoppable straight finish across Butler and into the far corner.
Riley might have added a fourth but saw a rising left foot clip the top of the bar and fly over after turning past a challenge well from a corner.
By now Sutton, who had needed treatment twice after challenges by Ricketts, left the field in agony holding his shoulder and was replaced by O'Neill.
Wilson's long cross from the left beat the jump of Kendrick at the far post and Dimidh was there to head over another half-chance on 35 minutes.
But, from another well-flighted Kendrick cross from the left, Stevenson looped a header against the home crossbar.
Connor did well to control the ball beyond the far post and almost squeeze it home from an impossible angle, the ball rolling across the face of goal.
However, Stags sloppily conceded again two minutes from the break as Ricketts was allowed to head home a left wing Wilson cross from close range in the centre of the goal.
Stunned Stags dusted themselves down and finished the half strongly, Green making space to fire a shot straight at Butler and then cutting in from the left to blast a shot against the bar.
But, as it rebounded, an Ilkeston hand prevented Briscoe latching onto it.
The referee awarded the penalty and, inside the first minute of stoppage time, Briscoe blasted a perfect spot kick straight down the centre to end a thoroughly entertaining half of pre-season football.
Worryingly, within six minutes of the restart Stags had lost another defender with injury.
This tme it was Riley who took a blow to the head in a Ricketts challenge which cut him and he was replaced by trialist Wood, the only one of the glut of trialists still at the Mill.
The procession of subs began with Dyer, Howell and Worthington joining the action and, when home keeper Butler failed to hold onto a cross, it sparked a scramble which ended with Partridge getting in the way of Dyer's finish and the ball cannoning back off Dyer and wide of the gaping goal.
Then came the 68th minute flashpoint when Ricketts slammed Thompson into the dugout and an unsavoury end to what had earlier been such a good game of football.
After the game, home boss Kevin Wilson said: “Things are at boiling point right now and I don't want to say too much until I have had time to digest this.
“You don't want to see things like this at a match and I will deal with it in the right way which may be in private.
“I have a video of the match so I will study it and act accordingly.”
ILKESTON: Butler, Wilcox, Burgin, Green, Hill, Partridge, Dimidh (Lammy 51), Colton, Ricketts, Thomas, Wilson.
STAGS: Redmond; Sutton (O'Neill 31), Riley (Wood 51), Thompson, Kendrick; Briscoe (Smith 65), Murray (Worthington 63), Stevenson, Hegarty (Todd 65); Connor (Dyer 61), Green (Howell 61).
REFEREE: Jim Thornhill.
Friendly ends in chaos
MANSFIELD Town's friendly at Ilkeston FC last night ended in chaos when livid Stags manager Paul Cox led his players off the pitch.
The Stags were leading 4-2 after 68 minutes when Ilkeston's Gary Ricketts barged defender John Thompson into one of the dug-outs.
The Stags players and management reacted angrily, apparently insisting the offence demanded a sending off.
But as a bleeding Thompson received treatment for a head injury, the referee seemingly indicated he was prepared to let Ricketts be substituted. Moments later, Cox took his players back to the dressing room.
Mansfield went in front in the fifth minute when Matt Green's header was saved by Arron Butcher, only for Josh Hill to turn the rebound into his own net.
Ilkeston were level three minutes later as Adam Murray's mistake allowed Darryl Thomas to feed Karl Dimidh to score.
Mansfield restored their lead when Lee Stevenson got to the byline and fired across goal for Green to net from close range.
Redmond saved well from Thomas to prevent Ilkeston making it 2-2 before Joe Kendrick's cross found its way through to Louis Briscoe and he slammed home a stunning finish.
Ilkeston again reduced the deficit when Ricketts headed home Ryan Wilson's cross.
The final goal came just before half-time, Briscoe scoring a penalty given for handball straight down the middle
Controversy as Stags friendly is abandoned
ILKESTON FC's penultimate pre-season friendly came to a controversial end on Wednesday night after Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox withdrew his players from the pitch on safety grounds.
The match had 20 minutes remaining with the visitors 4-2 up when Robins striker Gary Ricketts was involved in an incident with Stags defender John Thompson which resulted in the latter being taken to hospital with a broken nose.
And with the Mansfield coaching staff claiming two other Ricketts challenges from earlier in the match had also resulted in hospital treatment for his players, Cox felt he had no choice but to withdraw his players from the rest of the game.
He said: “Richie Sutton has broken his collarbone and Martin Riley needs stitches in a head wound, so I didn't have any options left and felt things had got out of hand.”
Robins boss Kevin Wilson was reluctant to comment in depth so soon after the match, but admitted the situation would need to be addressed.
“This will be dealt with in the right way, but whether that becomes public I don't know yet. I've known Gary Ricketts a long time and will need to sit down and talk to him,” he said.
“I need to digest it over the next 24 hours. We film the games so I'll have a look at the DVD and judge what happened then,but you don't like to see things like that at a game.
“I just hope all the Mansfield lads are OK, especially John Thompson.”
Ilkeston FC released a statement on Thursday morning confirming Ricketts had been suspended by the club pending an inquiry.
In the statement, club chairman Dave Mantle said: “We are obviously upset about any player being seriously injured and particularly wish John Thompson a speedy recovery.
“Kevin Wilson and I have already met to discuss Gary Ricketts' part in the incidents but we need to gather more evidence and speak to the player himself before deciding our next course of action.”
The match itself had been an entertaining encounter, with all of the goals having come in the first-half.
Mansfield took the lead in the fifth minute when David Heggarty crossed from the left and Matt Green powered a header at goal which Aaron Butcher did very well to parry away, but the ball struck Robins defender Josh Hill and rebounded back into the net.
However, it only took two minutes for Ilkeston to draw level and the goal stemmed from a Mansfield corner.
Louis Briscoe failed to control the ball 30 yards out allowing the Robins to break away, and after Darryl Thomas had burst 40 yards forward he slipped a fine ball through to new signing Karl Dimidh who finished well past Shane Redmond.
But the visitors were to go back in front on the quarter-hour mark when ex-Eastwood man Lee Stevenson did well to break into the penalty area, and after drawing the keeper he squared across the six-yard box for Green to slam the ball into an empty net.
A lovely one-two between Ricketts and Thomas then sent the latter clear but his low effort was saved by keeper Shane Redmond's legs, and what could have been 2-2 suddenly became 3-1 to the visitors when Joe Kendrick's cross found ex-Ilkeston man Briscoe on the right-hand edge of the penalty area who produced a fine finish across Butcher and into the far corner.
The Robins were back in the game two minutes before the break.
Ryan Wilson, whose delivery had been promising all evening, produced another fine cross from the left and Ricketts powered in a header which Redmond was unable to prevent from crossing the line.
But there was still time for Mansfield to add another goal just before half-time.
Green smashed an effort against the crossbar but the ball appeared to be handled by a Robins defender before reaching the approaching Paul Connor, and a penalty was awarded.
Briscoe stepped up and powered the spot-kick down the middle to make it 4-2.
The second-half was much more subdued in terms of goalmouth action, before the 70th minute abandonment brought proceedings to a halt.
Ilkeston: Aaron Butcher, Joe Wilcox, James Burgin, Liam Green, Josh Hill, Dan Partridge, Karl Dimidh (Lammy 61), Adam Colton, Gary Ricketts, Darryl Thomas, Ryan Wilson
Subs not used: Laurence Gibson, Darren Caskey, Jide Fashola, Andrew Osei-Siribour, Russell Peel, Ashley Robinson, Declan Harrop
Mansfield: Shane Redmond, Richard Sutton (Luke O'Neill 31), Joe Kendrick, John Thompson, Martin Riley (Nick Wood 53), Louis Briscoe (Andy Todd 65), Lee Stevenson, Paul Connor (Anthony Howell 61), Matt Green (Ross Dyer 61), Adam Murray (John Worthington 63), 22 Nick Heggarty (Adam Smith 65)
Subs not used: Lindon Meikle, Matt Bell, Alan Marriott
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